The Catalina 36 Mk1 Sailboat

The Catalina 36 Mk1, a masthead cruising sloop, was designed by Frank Butler and built in the USA by Catalina Yachts. 

A Catalina 36 MkI at anchorThe Catalina 36 Mk1

Published Specification for the Catalina 36 Mk1

Underwater Profile: Fin keel with spade rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 36'4" (11.1m)

Waterline Length: 30'3" (9.2m)

Beam: 11'11" (3.6m)

Draft: 5'10" (1.8m)

Rig Type: Masthead Sloop

Displacement: 13,500 lb (6,123 kg)

Designer: Frank Butler

Builder: Catalina Yachts (USA)

Published Design Ratios for the Catalina 36 Mk1

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 15.4

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 44.4

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 218

4. Comfort Ratio: 24.0

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 2.0

read more about these all-revealing numbers...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Catalina 36 Mk1

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of just 15.4 suggests that the Catalina 36 Mk1 will need a stiff breeze to get her going. In light conditions, unless you've got plenty of time on your hands, motor-sailing may be the way to go.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 44.4 means that the Catalina 36 Mk1 will stand up well to her canvas in a blow, helping her to power through the waves.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 218, tells us the Catalina 36 Mk1 is a moderate displacement cruiser, which means she'll carry all your cruising gear without it having a dramatic effect on her performance. Most of today's sailboats intended for offshore cruising fall into this displacement category.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 24.0 suggests that crew comfort of a Catalina 36 Mk1 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a coastal cruiser with moderate stability, which is not encouraging news for anyone prone to seasickness. 

5. The Capsize Screening Formula of 2.0 tells us that a Catalina 36 Mk1 would not be a good choice of sailboat for ocean passage-making, owing to the increased risk of capsize in strong winds and heavy seas when compared to a sailboat with a CSF of less than 2.0.

Any Questions?

Is the Catalina 36 Mk1 still in production and, if not, when did production end and how many of these sailboats were built?

No, the Catalina 36 Mk1 is no longer in production. Production ended in 1994, with a total of about 1800 hulls built.

How many different versions of the Catalina 36 were built?

There were two versions of the Catalina 36 built: the original Catalina 36 and the Catalina 36 Mark II. The original Catalina 36 was designed by Frank Butler and introduced in 1982, with a total of 1766 examples produced. The Catalina 36 Mark II was designed by Frank Butler and Gerry Douglas, introduced in 1994, and produced until 2005. The Mark II uses the same hull design and rig as the original Catalina 36, but has a larger cockpit, different cabin ports, a walk-through transom, and a new deck and interior design.

What is the history of the builders of the Catalina 36 Mk1 and is the company still in business?

The Catalina 36 Mk1 was built by Catalina Yachts, a company founded by Frank Butler in 1969. The company is still in business today and continues to produce a wide range of sailboats.

How many people can sleep on board an Catalina 36 Mk1?

The Catalina 36 Mk1 has two cabins, one generous sized head with shower, and berths for up to seven people.

What sailplan and rig options, if any, are available for the Catalina 36 Mk1?

The Catalina 36 Mk1 has a masthead sloop rig. Both fin keel and wing keel models were offered, as well as an optional tall rig for sailing in areas with light winds.

What keel options, if any, are available for the Catalina 36 Mk1?

The Catalina 36 Mk1 was available with either a fin keel or a wing keel. The fin keel version adopts a classical fin configuration, while the wing keel version is offered with a short keel fitted with large winglets.

What is the Catalina 36 Mk1 like to sail?

The Catalina 36 Mk1 has been described as a good all-around midsize sailing boat that combines good sailing performance with comfort. It is popular among weekend sailors who enjoy marinas and the social aspects of sailing.

What other sailboats were designed by Frank Butler?

Frank Butler, the founder of Catalina Yachts, designed or co-designed many popular sailboats for the company. Some of the sailboats designed by Frank Butler include:

  • Catalina 22
  • Catalina 27
  • Catalina 30
  • Catalina 25
  • Catalina Capri 14.2
  • Coronado 15
  • Capri Cyclone
  • Catalina 36
  • Jaguar 22

These are just a few examples of the many sailboats designed by Frank Butler. His designs are known for their practicality, comfort, and affordability, making them popular among sailors of all levels.

However, the most popular sailboat designed by Frank Butler was the Catalina 27 which he designed along with Robert Finch. The design became one of the most popular sailing keelboats of all time and was built from 1971 to 1991. A total of 6,662 examples were completed. It was known for its spacious and comfortable interior, as well as its good sailing performance.

The above answers were drafted by using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; to the best of our knowledge, we believe them to be accurate.

Other sailboats in the Catalina range include:

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